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Munster's Kiwi import will make his first appearance for the province tomorrow

Tyler Bleyendaal has been passed fit to start for the province’s ‘A’ team.

MUNSTER HAVE NAMED New Zealander Tyler Bleyendaal in their ‘A’ team to face the Ulster Ravens at Naas RFC tomorrow [KO 15.00].

Tyler Bleyendaal Bleyendaal has worked his way back to full fitness.

The former Crusaders man has been in Ireland since January, but has spent the last number of months rehabilitating after surgery on a prolapsed disc in his neck.

Fortunately for Munster, Bleyendaal has made a full recovery and was cleared to play after meeting with a specialist this week. The 24-year-old will start for Mick O’Driscoll’s ‘A’ side at out-half tomorrow.

Bleyendaal captained the New Zealand U20s to Junior World Championship success in 2010, before advancing into senior rugby with Canterbury. The out-half/centre went on to make 19 Super Rugby appearances for the Crusaders.

Having signed a three-year deal with Munster, the province were understandably hesitant to rush Bleyendaal’s recovery from a neck injury that was extremely worrying in the initial stages.

Their patience has been rewarded and Munster fans will have a first opportunity to watch the signing in action tomorrow in Naas.

Another interesting name in Munster’s starting lineup is Conor Oliver, a St. Mary’s clubman who played his underage rugby with Leinster having come through Blackrock College.

Conor Oliver goes over for a try despite the efforts of John Moloney Oliver scored a try in last year's Leinster Schools Senior Cup final. Source: Colm O'Neill/INPHO

The intelligent openside flanker has also played for Ireland U20s this season and looks to be an exciting prospect.


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Similarly, the inclusion of UCD prop JP Phelan on the bench is notable, given that he is a former Leinster age grade player too.

Among the other notable names in the starting team for Munster are scrum-half Cathal Sheridan, who continues his comeback after a long-term arm injury, senior squad member Dave O’Callaghan and captain Jack O’Donoghue.

Young Munster wing Diarmuid McCarthy, a former schools sensation who has made an impressive return to rugby this season, features on the bench for Munster again.

Admission to tomorrow’s game at Naas RFC is free.

MUNSTER A: Johne Murphy; Darren Sweetnam, David Johnston, Dan Goggin, Luke O’Dea; Tyler Bleyendaal, Cathal Sheridan; Liam O’Connor, Niall Scannell, Peter McCabe; John Madigan, Frank Bradshaw Ryan; Dave O’Callaghan, Conor Oliver, Jack O’Donoghue (captain).

Replacements: Luke O’Halloran (Young Munster), Niall Horan (Academy), JP Phelan (UCD), Lee Nicholas (Shannon), Diarmaid Dee (Young Munster), Olly Lyons (Exiles), Neil Cronin (Garryowen), Gearoid Lyons (Academy), Robbie Deegan (Shannon), Alex Wootton (Academy), Diarmuid McCarthy (Young Munster).

ULSTER RAVENS: Peter Nelson; Michael Allen, Mark Best, Sam Arnold, Matthew Hooks; Michael Heaney, David Shanahan; Kyle McCall, John Andrew, Ricky Lutton; John Donnan, Lewis Stevenson (captain); Connor Joyce, Clive Ross, Lorcan Dow.

Replacements: Paul Jackson, Ruairidh Murphy, Alex Thompson, Neil McComb, Frankie Taggart, Sean Reidy, Stephen Mulholland, Conor Young, Kieran Joyce, Adam Lidell, Peter Dunlop.

This article was updated at 17.54 to alter ‘Chiefs’ to ‘Crusaders’ in the fourth paragraph.

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Murray Kinsella

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